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"Alas, for me! no more the times of peace "Are mine on earth-in death my pains may cease.
"Foes to my soul! ye young seducers, know, "What serious ills from your amusements flow; "Opinions, you with so much each profess, "O'erwhelm the simple and their minds oppress: "Let such be happy, nor with reasons strong, "That make them wretched, prove their notions wrong;
"Let them proceed in that they deem the way, "Fast when they will, and at their pleasure pray : "Yes, I have pity for my brethren's lot,
"And so had Dives, but it help'd him not:
"And is it thus ?-I'm full of doubts :- Adieu ! Perhaps his reverence is mistaken too." (1)
(1) It has been a subject of greater vexation to me than such trifle ought to be, that I could not, without destroying all appearance of arrangement, separate these melancholy narratives, and place the fallen Clerk in Office at a greater distance from the Clerk of the Parish, especially as they resembled each other in several particulars; both being tempted, seduced, and wretched. Yet are there, I conceive, considerable marks of distinction: their guilt is of different kind; nor would either have committed the offence of the other. The Clerk of the Parish could break the commandment, but he could not have been induced to have disowned an article of that creed for which he had so bravely contended, and on which he fully relied; and the upright mind of the Clerk in Office would have secured him from being guilty of wrong and robbery, though his weak and vacillating intellect could not preserve him from infidelity and profaneness. Their melancholy is nearly alike, but not its consequences. Jachin retained his belief, and though he hated life, he could never be induced to quit it voluntarily; but Abel was driven to terminate his misery in a way which the unfixedness of his religious opinions rather accelerated than retarded. I am, therefore, not without hope that the more observant of my readers will perceive many marks of discrimination in these characters.
THE POOR OF THE BOROUGH.
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Shakspeare. Richard III.
The times have been,
That when the brains were out, the man would die,
The Father of Peter a Fisherman
Peter's early Conduct - His Grief for the old Man - He takes an Apprentice — The Boy's Suffering and Fate - A second Boy: how he died. Peter acquitted A third Apprentice― A Voyage by Sea: the Boy does not return - Evil Report on Peter: he is tried and threatened - Lives alone - His Melancholy and incipient Madness - Is observed and visited - He escapes and is taken: is lodged in a Parish-house: Women attend and watch him- He speaks in a Delirium: grows more collected — His Account of his Feelings and visionary Terrors previous to his Death.
PETER GRIMES. (1)
OLD Peter Grimes made fishing his employ,
But soon the stubborn boy from care broke loose,
(1) 【The original of Peter Grimes was an old fisherman of Aldborough, while Mr. Crabbe was practising there as a surgeon. He had a succession of apprentices from London, and a certain sum with each. As the boys all disappeared under circumstances of strong suspicion, the man was warned by some of the principal inhabitants, that if another followed in like manner, he should certainly be charged with murder.]